World Space Week podcast — Episode 6: Melanie Johnston Hollitt

By Elf Eldridge 09/10/2011

Hari and I continue our whirlwind tour though space ‘celebrities’ by interviewing Melanie Johnston Hollitt, one of the international founding board members for the Square Kilometer Array radiotelescope. One of the most ambitious scientific projects ever undertaken by mankind, the SKA will see an array of different telescopes spread over a continent-sized area of either South Africa or Australia and New Zealand (we find out which at the beginning of 2012!). The energy, technology and computational needs for a telescope this large are vast, and to be honest words really don’t do it justice, so here’s a picture instead.

Radio image of Centaurus A
Radio image of Centaurus A

The SKA will be able to collect the data for this image INSTANTLY. By comparison, it took one of our current largest telescopes 1600 hours to generate this image. It’s from a paper Melanie co-authored that is available here

Full podcast available to listen to or download here

Or on youtube here

Tomorrow in our penultimate podcast for this year, we interview the AMAZING Robert Zubrin, head of the Mars Society, and find out his plan for getting a man on mars within 10 years.